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Preiser

Set 72502

US Army Air Force Personnel

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1999
Contents 12 figures
Poses 12 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours White
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

With the situation in Europe getting ever worse and growing fears about Japan's intentions, in mid 1941 the US started expanding its relatively small air force. Needless to say this expansion accelerated after entry into the war, and at its peak in March 1944 the USAAF consisted of over 2.3 million personnel.

The USAAF wore very many uniforms and orders of dress during the war, so 12 figures was never going to do much more than scratch the surface. What we get is a bit of everything, with some pilots, ground crew, an MP and some female personnel. Since air force personnel generally fight their wars sitting or standing rather than running around the relatively static poses here are quite acceptable, and when displayed in an airfield setting such as is shown on the box they look very realistic. We particularly liked the pilot reading something (top row), the squatting mechanic in the second row and the two talking pilots, also in the second row.

A good many uniform items are on display here, but all are authentic for the 42-45 period. The ground crew all seem to wear the one-piece fatigue suit while the pilots have various forms of dress, all of which look fine. As a complement to the military policemen in the Airfix set we have one here in regular Class A uniform, suitable for scenarios other than just airfields. The first woman (top row) seems to wear an 'Ike' jacket over regulation skirt, and instead of the former kepi she wears the later overseas cap. The second woman, bottom row, is wearing flying gear, reminding us of the role woman played beyond nursing and administration.

The sculpting of these figures is very good, and while the detail is not particularly sharp it is there in all the right places. Some of the figures come in just one piece while others require up to five pieces to construct. However the pieces largely fit where they are supposed to, so there is no room for varying the poses except for the heads as several spare heads are included. One thing that is missing however is bases - there are none, nor any material from which they can be fashioned.

As we have said, these are really nice figures that fit together well and, being hard plastic, they glue easily and securely. You may not get the quantity of figures that you do in most soft plastic sets but what you do get here is another high quality product from a very reliable manufacturer.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 8
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

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